a mexican walks into a bar

& he is the only brown person there. la piedra del sol
is printed on every black vinyl stool. quetzal feathers
dangle from the ceiling. sugar calaveras hang on the walls.
& the punch line is plunder. a pale hand emptying an image
of blood for decoration. he walks to the counter, orders
a beer. the white bartender pours beer from the boy’s
mouth & serves it to a white girl wearing a serape & fake
mustache at the end of the bar. the brown boy shrivels
into corn husks & the bartender wears him over
his pale skin. he takes his skull, dips it in sugar, paints
it in sparkling blues & pinks, & hangs it on the wall
with the others. the floor here is always tacky with beer & blood.

Alfredo Aguilar is the son of Mexican immigrants. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Winter Tangerine, Vinyl, PEN Center USA's Rattling Wall, & elsewhere. He lives in North County San Diego.